Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe Travel Blog› entry 29 of 56 › view all entries
May 2nd, 2006 – by: mahoney
First stop was the Chapel of San Miguel por Barrio de Analco. The chapel was constructed in 1626-28 by Fr. Alonso de Benavides. It is called the "Oldest Church" in the United States (continuously occupied).
Right across from the Chapel is the "Oldest House" in the United States, which I guess makes this the oldest neighborhood too.
Next, I went into Our Lady of Light Chapel, known as the Loretto Chapel, was founded by the Sisters of Loretto (first American order of nuns dedicated to teaching). Now privately owned, you may take a tour here and visit the Miraculous Staircase. The stairway's carpenter, whoever he was, built a magnificent structure. The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today.
The staircase has two 360 degree turns and has no visible means of support. Also, it is said that the staircase was built without nails -- only wooden pegs. Questions also surround the number of stair risers compared to the height of the choir loft and about the types of wood and other materials used in the stairway's construction.
Went to the Plaza, had some lunch, walked to St. Francis Cathedral and ended the tour back at the visitor's center. Started to rain, so decided to head on South to Albuquerque.
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